Grade B Maple Syrup Reclassified by USDA

Head's up! Your favorite grade of maple syrup may just have gotten a classification upgrade.

As of March 2015 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that their classifications for domestically produced maple syrup will now follow the international maple syrup classification system, previously adopted by top domestic maple syrup producing state, Vermont, in 2014.

Where prior USDA classification focused primarily on color as an indicator of grade, international classifications look at color and taste to provide a more descriptive and interpretive label for consumers.

Previous USDA Grading

New USDA Grading

Grade A Light Amber/Fancy

Grade A Golden Color, Delicate Taste

Grade A Medium Amber

Grade A Amber Color, Rich Taste

Grade A Dark Amber

Can be either Grade A Amber Color, Rich Taste; or Grade A Dark Color, Robust Taste

Grade B 

Grade A Dark Color, Robust Taste (processing grade only; not available for retail sale)

One key motivator for this change is that Grade B maple syrup has become a market favorite for its rich color and robust maple flavor, yet the designation of Grade B suggested to some shoppers that it was inferior to Grade A syrups.

Domestically-produced maple syrups, such as the Field Day maple syrup that is part of our Co+op Basics line, will soon be reflecting this change on their label beginning in April. Rest assured nothing has changed in the production or sourcing of this delicious product except its grade. Now fire up that griddle, we're hungry!